The Lanesboro Historical Museum (105 Parkway Ave. S., 507/467-2177, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Tues.–Fri., 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun., free admission) began with the donation of wood carvings of local barber Hans Olson, and, though these are still the highlight of the collection, it has now expanded to include various other historical artifacts from the town’s early days.
The Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center (28097 Goodview Dr., 507/467-2437 or 888/800-9558, www.eagle-bluff.org, free admission) is primarily a residential group conference center with educational and team-building programs, though the small nature center (8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun.) with displays on karst geology and some of the hiking trails, which continue into the surrounding Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest, are also open to the public. The monumental overlook of the Root River Valley, an easy quarter-mile stroll from the nature center, is alone worth the trip up here. Take County Highway 8 two miles west of town, turn right on County Highway 21, and follow the signs.
The DNR’s Lanesboro Fish Hatchery (23789 Grosbeak Rd., 507/467-3771, 7 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 7 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Fri., free admission) produces around 750,000 brown and 300,000 rainbow trout annually. A video shown in the office presents the beginnings of the rearing process, and then you can see the rest of it in person. You’ll see the biggest fish in the ponds and raceways during April and May. The fish farm is located along Duschee Creek (one of the state’s best trout streams) a mile south of town on Highway 16.
To see something you just don’t see every day, drop by the Lanesboro Sales Barn (402 Coffee St., 507/467-2192) on the east end of town. This is one of the largest livestock markets in the Upper Midwest, and an average of 1,000 head of cattle, often twice that, are auctioned off during the slaughter auction (8:30 a.m. Wed.). The regular livestock auction (10:30 a.m. Fri.) is mostly cattle, but also pigs, sheep, and goats.
R & M Amish Tours (507/467-2128, www.rmamish.com, 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. Mon.–Sat. year-round, $25 per person) will take you out to Amish farms in their vans. Tours depart from the Amish Experience gift shop (105 North Pkwy.). Cheryl’s Apparel (102 Beacon St. E., 507/467-4466, www.cherylsapparel.com) arranges narrated city tours on Molly the Trolley (1 p.m. Sat. May–Oct., plus by demand, $10 adults).
© Tim Bewer from Moon Minnesota, 3rd Edition